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Nightrunners of Bengal Hardcover – January 1, 1951
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Within the English community, Savage is surrounded by ignorance, with oblivious and bigoted colleagues; he has a wife he doesn't love - one of many idle women nitpicking pettily about each other - and is the recipient of difficult questions he doesn't want to hear from an annoying bluestocking (he and I both disliked her early on, but she grew on us). The questions she asks ultimately make him sense the rot within the system, and make him re-examine his place in India, his life, and himself.
Rodney is left with the choice to hide with additional English survivors and friendly? locals until rescued, give into the blood lust and seek revenge whenever possible, or attempt to prevent subsequent rebellions that he knows will occur as local rajahs work to systematically - and bloodily - eradicate all Europeans from their lands and the organized rebellion works its way through India.
As he works through emotional and physical survival, Rodney also looks with new eyes at how his colleagues respond to the emergency and India.
Lately I've been counting the number of pages left in a book to see how far I have to go before I'm done. I don't know if this is because I'm tired when I read or because many of the books on my stack looked good, but just aren't that fascinating once they're cracked open. Regardless, I didn't do that once with this 373-page Souvenir edition. The best novel on the rebellion I've read.
Background is fine, but endless yammer over the (not soon enough to be widowed) hero's weird relationship with his new bluestocking girlfriend (he can't quite seem to make up his mind)is numbing...
I've just tonight finished Masters' "The Deceivers". I had hoped there would be less of the bizarre female-worship, but it's back again in full together with whole chapters of delirium as usual.
Was Masters an opium "addict" along with liberal supplies of booze? Certainly the most convincing passages - and they are endless - of the two heroes' hallucinations ring true, if boringly.
Anyway, if you take women as they come and enjoy rip-roaring historical fiction, this isn't the book for you. For the Mutiny, highly recommended is the great George MacDonald Fraser's "Flashman in the Great Game".
Another reviewer compared this unfavorably with Flashman in the Great Game which also is based on the Indian mutiny. Frankly, the two books are not that easy to compare. Both cover fictionalized history. However Masters story is deadly serious and full of melodrama whereas Fraser's is strictly tongue in cheek and as much written for laughs as for anything else. Both books are great reads.
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Masters was born in Calcutta, the fifth generation of his family to
serve in India.Read more